Nepali Times

King G's decision is a positive one to take Nepal out of the dark ("King G does it", NT Online) as any well-wisher of Nepal knows. What Nepal's politicians don't know, however, is that the people are so fed up with them that the time will soon come when they will all be rounded up and tried in a true "people's court". I am a true-hearted democrat, but I think the king's intentions mean more than the empty promises of our so-called "democrats". King Gyanendra is a well-meaning monarch, Nepali politicians are not. The king has the genuine support of the people, the politicians only wish they did.

Jack Prasai,
Cape Town

. Coming from an ex-Maoist commander, Puskar Gautam may know what he is talking about in "Fight to the finish" (#115). But if his quotes from Chairman Mao are accurate, then the mentor of Nepal's "Maoists" contradicted himself by first saying "that the decisive factor in any war is public support, not weapons and soldiers" (fifth paragraph from the bottom) and then "Mao Zedong said that the people do not exist without the army" (second last paragraph). It's just this kind of muddle-headedness that is making the comrades take the country on a path of self-destruction.

Colonel BB Rai,
Hong Kong

. When King Gyanendra took over the executive power for sometime and fired an "incompetent" prime minister, most politicians and affiliated people were shocked. But on the other hand those people who have been dragged to vote several times during 12 years, those who had seen confrontation between parties and politicians, fighting for power and chairs, those who had seen prime ministers who dissolved cabinet like a dollhouse, those who had seen corruption at all levels, and those who have been victim of terrorism and tired of seeing the mess-they were celebrating no matter who said what.

The situation was so bad that people preferred the safety and security of the Panchayat system. Political parties should realise that they can't blame anyone but themselves. They should also realise that this is a smack on their face not doing their job properly. Deuba may have been the last "incompetent" prime minister, but he was only following the example of his incompetent predecessors. The people came out on the streets to throw out the Panchayat, and yet they didn't protest the royal move. Why? People are fed up of corrupt politicians. And they know that if the same thieves come back to power, they will be betrayed again like in the past.

The king has promised to remain a constitutional monarch. He knows that the people want peace and security more than anything else so that political stability will bring economic progress. He had no choice, and no time to argue about legality. Either way, the constitution was in trouble.

Now is the time again for political parties to show their commitment to the people and bring the country back to normal. They have to vow that they will not play with the norms of the constitution and norms of democracy.

Basu Shrestha
Arlington, USA

. Your editorial "The king and us" (#115) is one of the most balanced analyses I have yet seen in the Nepali press about His Majesty's 4 October take over of executive powers. It is easy to be black and white about this decision. To say: it was an undemocratic move if you are a democrat, or to say that it was 100 percent correct, if you are
a royalist.

But the reality lies somewhere in between. His Majesty had no choice, as you point out. He had to save the country, and his throne. The politicians had messed things up with their corruption and disunity, and this was endangering the nation.

However, where the royalists are wrong is to think that absolute monarchy is the answer. We tried it for thirty years and it didn't usher in development. Everything was so centralised (even corruption) that nothing moved. The king was surrounded by sycophants, the press was strictly controlled, pressure started building up, and by 1990 it got bad enough for the lid to come off.

No, the answer to our polity lies in finding the right balance to make democracy work better. The politicians are crying themselves hoarse saying the king's move is not democractic. But neither were they for 12 years. In fact, they made a mockery of democracy by using the system as an excuse to plunder the country like never before.

Democracy is too precious to be left in the hands of these crooks, the king needs to rescue it, reinstate it and install the checks and balances so that multiparty democracy begins to produce the results that will pull the rug from under the feet of the Maoists. And that is what this interim government should be immediately trying to do. And instead of sulking, the political parties should extend the king all the help they can.

S Lamichane,

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)